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Three pro-police bills backed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, passed the House of Representatives today. The bills were initially passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in May during National Police Week and cleared the Senate shortly thereafter.

“Day in and day out, the men and women in law enforcement work tirelessly to protect and serve communities across the country. This is no easy task, particularly in recent years as police were on the front lines of a pandemic and continue to respond to a growing wave of crime and violence. In recent months, Congress has witnessed firsthand the valor of law enforcement and the toll the job can take. We ought to do our part to take care of those who answer the call. I’m grateful for the House’s action to advance these important bills and I look forward to President Biden swiftly signing them into law,” Grassley said.

The package includes three bipartisan bills aimed at improving access to financial support for officers permanently disabled in the line of duty, expanding mental health outlets for law enforcement and promoting justice for officers lost while serving our nation abroad.

Protecting America’s First Responders Act

Grassley introduced this bipartisan bill to ensure that officers who are permanently unable to secure meaningful gainful employment following a catastrophic injury in the line of duty remain eligible for federal benefits. It also expands the Justice Department’s ability to more efficiently secure records needed to swiftly evaluate disability claims. This bill is endorsed by various law enforcement organizations. The bill was approved in the House by a vote of 420-3.

Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Officers and Employees Protection Act

This bill clarifies that federal officers and employees serving overseas are protected, and that crimes against them may be tried in a U.S. court of law. The bill is named for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila, who were attacked by drug cartels while working in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The bill is led by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), and cosponsored by Grassley and others. The bill was approved today in the House by voice vote.

Confidentiality Opportunities for Peer Support (COPS) Counseling Act

This bill seeks to address the mental stresses incurred by law enforcement by encouraging the adoption of peer counseling programs and protecting the privacy of federal officers who participate. This legislation was introduced by Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Grassley. An earlier version of this bill passed the Senate last congress. The bill was approved in the House today by a vote of 424-3.

Author: Press Release